Russia’s Yamal-Europe gas pipeline is flowing eastwards away from Europe yet again, after short intermittent westbound flows according to data from German network operator Gascade.
It had shipped gas in normal mode – westbound, from Poland to Germany – for around 10 hours overnight, mostly at a scale of 12.6 million kWh/h.
According to renominations, or preliminary bids, the pipeline is expected to stay in reverse mode until at least Monday morning.
This follows consistent eastward flows in the German-Polish section of the pipeline since December 21.
The Yamal-Europe pipeline usually accounts for about 15 per cent of Russia’s westbound supply of gas to Europe and Turkey.
Gazprom cut its export growth over winter, while buyers in Poland drew on stored supplies from Germany rather than buying more Russian gas at high spot prices.
The Kremlin-backed gas giant has not ordered any transit capacity for February and March via the route at monthly auctions, nor has it booked capacity for the second and third quarters of the year.
Markets have been on edge about possible disruptions to energy supplies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with prices spiking as much as 60 per cent on both UK and European benchmarks following the invasion on Thursday.
Prices have since dipped but remain historically high.
Western sanctions have so far have avoided energy, while Gazprom has reported regular flows through Ukraine despite conflict in the country.
Europe relies on Russia for around 40 per cent of its natural gas supplies, although German chancellor Olaf Scholz has suspended the Nord Stream 2 approval process which would have further increased the continent’s dependence on its energy sources.
Meanwhile, European energy ministers will hold an emergency meeting in Brussels tomorrow following the surge in prices for oil and gas.